Category Archives: Music

Bubiko meets Tranzient 1.0

I met Jim Simons, the force behind Tranzient, at the November 2019 edition of the London Augmenting Reality Meetup. He did a live demo of the Tranzient VR/music making app. The app not only performed beautifully, Jim composed some great little beats; on the spot of course.

The Tranzient app allows musicians to collaborate in VR, in real time. Tranzient is impressive on many levels. I wondered if Jim would be consider adding Bubiko to his "band".

Jim was open to the idea!

What you see above is less than an hour's work. Now that we know Bubiko is functional within Tranzient, we can literally play around.

Tranzient is highly recommended https://www.aliveintech.com/ . I just met Jim, but he is genuinely enthusiastic about making music in VR. If you are a musician and working in VR, you should definitely move on Tranzient. Jim is a bit mysterious about his musical past, but I am sure he was involved with some great projects. He sure makes Bubiko look good!

This version on Bubiko was made by Novaby, art directed by Stephen Black and Sayuri Okayama.

Blessed Sacrament Festival, Sunday, June 9, 2019

The Blessed Sacrament Festival, June 9, 2019. Plus a surprise or two.

Summer festival foods
boy playing with an orange traffic cone

Polka Kings: Does Polka Music Really Come from Poland?

menu of food served at Blessed Sacrament festival
Jack Black. Polka.
In the recent Netflix movie The Polka King, the popular Hollywood actor Jack Black stars as the Polish singer and band leader Jan Lewandowski, better known by his American stage name Jan Lewan. The film shows Lewan’s rise to local stardom in 1990s Pennsylvania, how he ran a Ponzi scheme fuelled with money from his, often elderly, Polish-American fans, and his subsequent five-year jail sentence.
Made in collaboration with Lewan himself (who continued his polka music career after leaving prison) and based on a 2009 documentary about him titled The Man Who Would Be Polka King, the film is well grounded in fact.
An interview for Newsweek has Jack Black saying:
When I saw the documentary The Man Who Would Be Polka King, from which this whole project sprang, it struck me like a bolt of lightning (…). This is an epic tale. On a very visceral level, I knew I had polka in my DNA. In fact, I am a quarter Polish.

POLISH SUMMER PICNIC! JUNE 14 and 15

New York Times article: DIVERSIONS; Ardent Polka Fans Take to the Road to Pursue Their Irrepressible Music

Blessed Sacrament Festival
Duane Malinowski with accordion, his son on drums.

A very pleasant time. Besides the people, food and music, there were the delights from the Earnest Brew Works!

More photos of Toledo here.

A very special thank you to Jackie Black.

Stephen Black’s AR/VR/spatial computing experiences

SB with Bubiko Foodtour

Stephen Black: This post is a breakdown of my experiences with AR/VR/Spatial Computing. It starts with 2002, though I received a BFA in Photographic Illustration from the Rochester Institute of Technology  well before that.

Before 2002, I lived in Tokyo, Manhattan, Paris and Hong Kong, and worked in network TV, fine arts, photography and music. A fuller biography can be found here. But AR is the topic of this post...

2002-2007. In Singapore I worked as a creative director for a 3D game making company that was also doing something like Youtube,-- but three years before Youtube. Although I was not a developer, I learned a great deal about spatial computing, and taught 3D gamemaking in Singapore, including classes at the Singapore Science Center. It was during this time, that David Severn and I developed the Secret Donut World characters.

Vance

2007- 2014 Singapore/Bali: wrote novels, including a bestseller, was involved with 3how and researched VR and AR.

2014 SPOKEN, with Eugene Soh; a curation of a wide range of artists.

SPOKEN, a virtual gallery

2014 The Oculus signaled the emergence of VR, and I began notes for a book about VR cinematography.

2015 In Singapore, a chance meeting with Ender Jiang, the founder of Hiverlab, resulted in the opportunity to make my first 360 film.  Ender provided me with technical support and creative freedom and I am extremely grateful for that opportunity. The resulting film, Beach Road, featured a soundtrack by Bani Haykal and Chen Yi Qi, and was selected as a demo VR film in the Hybrid Arcade session of the Brisbane Asia Pacific Film Festival in November 2015, and was nominated as the Best Experimental VR Film in the VR Fest Las Vegas 2016. It was also fetured in a VR film festival at the Singapore national Museum. Beach Road was receiving a healthy number of views and comments before a technical change in Google Play took it off. At the time of this writing, Beach Road is on Veer and has received almost 5000 views.

360 films
Stephen Black, in the film he co-produced with Hiverlab

2016 The year began with discussing a VR startup idea with VCs in Singapore. Though the discussions went well, the lack of a prototype slowed things down. Shortly after, the release of ARCore and ARKit resulted in a halt to VR the possibilities of AR were assessed.

By April, AR had become the focus and the decision was made to become the "Pixar of AR": original characters, stories and software. With Sayuri Okayama, Bubiko Foodtour was originated.

Sayuri Okayama with a prototype of Bubiko

2017 Ipoh: demonstrations of AR, including what is probably the world’s first photo exhibition in AR. The photos also appeared in an ebook by Bubiko Foodtour.

Augmented Reality in Asia
article about Stephen Black/Sayuri Okayama/Bubiko Foodtour in Ipoh

2018 A presentation about AR was given at Sasin School of Business in Bangkok, later followed by two presentations and two workshops at Hong Kong PolyU, all at 80% capacity or higher.

Augmented Reality Stephen Black in Thailand
poster for Stephen Black's presentation about AR at Sasin School of Business
Presentations and workshops by Stephen Black
Stephen Black holding a Qoocam 360VR camera, as part of his presentation at the 2018 Maker Faire at HK PolyU.

2018 Lotus Mountain, a 360 film was shot and post production began including VR art contributions from Scobot and a soundtrack by Rei Shimizu. The film is at least 80% done and finishing funds are now being searched for. Lotus Mountain was supported by Kando, and 8K Obsidians were used for most of the shooting. Noted Chinese VR filmmaker Leo Wei co-directed and produced.

Chinese city landmarks
Shenzhen Civic Center at night, primary location for Lotus Mountain.
from Lotus Mountain

Bubiko at the Rise festival in HK

Hong Kong Comicon

2018 Cross-promotional and development partnership with Six Cats Studios (HK), focusing on their original IPs, Ollie and Charlie.

AR in musical education
The Dundercats, by Six Cat Studios.

2018 Presentations in Shenzhen, including Le Wagon and Tech Crunch Shenzhen.

Hummingbirdsday
Screen capture from an AR game by Dominique Wu.

2018 In a partnership with Hummingbirdsday Studios, Bubiko appears in an AR game demo with Green Bean Boy.

2019 Presentation at ARIA, MIT, resulting in, among others, working relationship with Novaby and UARexperience

2019 Toledo, Ohio. Presentations, including coffee shops, libraries and a collaboration with sculptor Jack Wilson for the Old West End Festival.

2019 SXSW during the 10 day event attended seminars and developed personal connections with AR and VR practitioners.

W
With WWE championship belt

2019 AR presentation as part of GOBA-the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure. Premier of the AR and Bicycle Safety ebook.

bicycle safety
Bubiko Foodtour looks up while thinking about what to order

2019 As part of  Novaby’s presentation in the Tech in the Tenderloin Festival, the 3D version Bubiko will be making her public debut. The Black Hawk Jazz Club AR project by Novaby will also be presented-not to be missed!

We are now looking for funding for the Bubiko app... Stay tuned!

419ness

A collection of blog posts about Toledo, Ohio

The Maumee River

About Stephen Black

Stephen Black's books

SXSW Overview by Bubiko Foodtour

Wild, informative and fun, SXSW 2019 was ten days of chaos of the best possible kind. Bubiko was there!

Austin Chronicle, Bubiko Foodtour
Big yellow sign, little Bubiko

Gaming and VR blog post

Overall Impressions Photo Essay

Bubiko's Adventures at SXSW!

Music

radiocassette player art
Art by Slep

Stephen Black at SXSW

Food at SXSW coming soon!

Bubiko's Instagram has a few posts about SXSW and Austin, like this one.

Bubiko's adventures at MIT and beyond

Who is Stephen Black?

man with VR headset and AR on his tee shirt

3how Riverwalk Session

NOVABY!

Music: SXSW 2019

an overview of all of SXSW is here…

David Aguilar: Five Latin Grammy nominations
Guy from Ohio University at Japanese expo
Stevie Ray Vaughn: wall of Snapchat House
Pablo Trujillo on Spotify
On the street...
Street corner as stage
Orions Belte
Pat Byrne, as part of the Irish Breakfast at B.D. Rileys
B.D. Rileys, on a Sunday. This photo was taken from the sidewalk: the space behind the stage was open. Do not know the band's name unfortunately, but will never forget their HARP + attitude + fun cover of Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. It was just a little breakaway in a medley that rocked, rocked, rocked. (Yes, a harp, the stand up kind, or the ones that angels float around with. Not a blues harp (harmonica).
One string washtub bass. B.D. Riley's again.
In the front yard of the house where O. Henry used to live. One of my all time favorite songs.
Yellow Fang Band
Yellow Fang (Music here.)
Furutori
St. Lo, from Montreal.
French for rabbits
Jonz
Jonathon Bree
Riders Against the Storm
Elephant Gym, from Taiwan. Math rock.
David Byrne Reasons to Be Cheerful

All photos taken with an iPhone6s.

Will Moths in the Attic play Singapore?

Will Moths in the Attic play in the ghost town of Singapore?

upcoming shows

Logan's Irish Pub

04/19/19

With special guest Tom Gorman

414 S Main St, Findlay, OH 45840

830-midnight

Fins Seafood & Grille

04/20/19

1801 Broad Ave, Findlay, OH 45840

630-930pmVino Bellissimo

04/26/19

2412 Cable Ct, Lima, OH 45805

8-11pmThe Blarney Event Center

04/27/19

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Man/Woman of the Year campaign fundraiser

With Rob Vance and Jeff Stewart

601 Monroe St, Toledo, OH 43604

Doors 630; Music 7-10pm

$50 tickets go on sale April 1MIC BGSU - Open Mic Showcase

05/01/19

Bowen-Thompson Student Union multipurpose room, Bowling Green State University

1001 E Wooster St, Bowling Green, OH 43403

8-10pm

More details TBAGrand Rapids Town Hall

05/03/19

Bitter Sweet Music Vine concert series

Across the street from River Lures, 24287 Front St., Grand Rapids, OH 43522

11am-1230pmAmerican Winery, LTD

05/03/19

15119 US 20A, Wauseon, OH 43567

6-9pmThe Ottawa Tavern

05/03/19

With House ToursLord Whorfin & Excellent Enemies

1817 Adams St, Toledo, OH 43604

Doors at 8pm

All ages; Tickets on sale now $5 ($8 under 21)The Bourbon Affair

05/04/19

Kentucky Derby party

wsg Mike Bryce & Beau Hamman

121 E Crawford St, Findlay, OH 45840

9-midnightArt and Performance Center of West Toledo

05/05/19

Songwriters Listening Room Series

2702 W. Sylvania Avenue, Toledo, Ohio

6-7pmNorthside BG

05/05/19

Bowling Green, Ohio

7-10pm

More details TBALogan's Irish Pub

05/10/19

With special guest Mark Poseler

414 S Main St, Findlay, OH 45840

830-midnight

(2nd Friday for this month only)TEDxBowlingGreen

05/11/19

Reception following TEDx event

Open to all TEDx ticketholders (purchase tickets here)

104 S Main St, Bowling Green, OH 43402

530-830pm

Bowling Green Farmers' Market

05/22/19

201 S Main St, Bowling Green, OH 43402

530-630pm

Followed by a set at The Hump Day Revue at The Stones Throw: Tavern & Grill

830-900pmMayflower Arts Center

05/23/19

Cory Breth Album Fundraiser

Zack Fletcher solo performance

with Cory BrethThaddeus Williams & Abbey Bower

9 W. Main St., Troy, OH 45373

7pm; $10 tickets on sale nowFins Seafood & Grille

05/25/19

1801 Broad Ave, Findlay, OH 45840

630-930pmOld West End Festival

06/01/19

Agnes Reynolds Jackson Arboretum stage

2501 Robinwood Ave, Toledo, OH 43610

Noon-1pmLogan's Irish Pub

06/21/19

414 S Main St, Findlay, OH 45840

9-midnightThe Phoenix Brewing Co.

06/27/19

131 N Diamond St, Mansfield, OH 44902

730-1030pmWild Side Brewing Company

07/05/19

24194 Front St, Grand Rapids, OH 43522

7-10pmBowling Green Farmers' Market

07/17/19

With Mark Poseler

201 S Main St, Bowling Green, OH 43402

430-630pm

Followed by a set at The Hump Day Revue at The Stones Throw: Tavern & Grill

830-930pmFirefly Nights

07/19/19

Downtown Bowling Green, OH

600-645pm

More details TBALogan's Irish Pub

07/19/19

414 S Main St, Findlay, OH 45840

9-midnightSummerfest at Southgate Lanes

07/20/19

9700 N Dixie Hwy, Bluffton, OH 45817

Details TBALogan's Irish Pub

08/16/19

414 S Main St, Findlay, OH 45840

9-midnightHoward's Club H

08/23/19

210 N Main St, Bowling Green, OH 43402

Details TBABowling Green Farmers' Market

09/04/19

With Drew Joseph

201 S Main St, Bowling Green, OH 43402

430-630pm

Followed by a set at The Hump Day Revue at The Stones Throw: Tavern & Grill

830-930pmLogan's Irish Pub

09/20/19

With special guests Cory Jolly and Mike Bryce

414 S Main St, Findlay, OH 45840

830-midnightArt and Performance Center of West Toledo

10/06/19

Zack Fletcher solo performance

Songwriters Listening Room Series

2702 W. Sylvania Avenue, Toledo, Ohio

6-7pmLogan's Irish Pub

10/18/19

414 S Main St, Findlay, OH 45840

9-midnightLogan's Irish Pub

11/15/19

414 S Main St, Findlay, OH 45840

9-midnightLogan's Irish Pub

12/20/19

414 S Main St, Findlay, OH 45840

9-midnight

Swingmania!

Last night I had the pleasure of watching a big band perform. Swingmania are champions! Below the photos is the text from the Facebook page from a Battle of the Bands competition--which Swingmania won!
http://www.swingmania.org/

black and white photo of a big band
Swingmania: Toledo's premier big band!
overhead black and white image of  a big band
black and white photo of a big band
Black and white photo of a big band
Saxophonists battle
Swingmania

All Night Entertainment presents the
Battle of the Bands at the BIG3 Swing Dance
Saturday, March 16, 2019
at the Masonic Temple Crystal Ballroom in Detroit.

Featuring 15-piece Battle of the Bands winner,
The Paul Keller Orchestra vs.
Two-time Battle of the Bands winner, 15-piece Swingmania

The PKO is one of Michigan's finest, oldest, most respected and well-traveled jazz bands. The PKO has held forth every Monday night, for over 28 years, in Ann Arbor, first at the Bird of Paradise Jazz Club, then at the Firefly Club & Keystone Martini Bar and now at the Zal Gaz Grotto. The PKO's voluminous library of over 1,000 arrangements includes classic, obscure and original big band material from the entire history of jazz.

Two-time defending champions, 15-piece Swingmania from Toledo plays a wide variety of the classic swing and big band music of Miller, Ellington, and Basie plus favorites such as Sinatra, Fitzgerald, Cole, Prima and Presley. They have a solid hold on the swing scene in Northwest Ohio.

LOTUS MOUNTAIN, a VR movie

This proposal was posted on Kaleidoscope on February 25, 2019.

Shenzhen, China's Silicon Valley, on the night of Chinese Valentine's Day. Joyh, a cyborg, is finally taken out into the world by Dave, her creator.

Five years later, the two are reunited, with very different memories of that night.

 Lotus Mountain: 12 minutes 360 VR film 

Directed and produced by Stephen Black

Cinematography: Leo Wei  

Starring Alps Bethneck, Joyh and the Shenzhen 40th anniversary urban light show, with the city decorated for Chinese Valentine’s Day.  

Original soundtrack: Japanese composer Rei Shimizu, and ​Since You Were Gone​, from The Riverwalk Session album by 3how (High on Chai Productions).  

Featuring an original VR artwork by Scobot, award winning VR artist.  Sound mix by ambisonic pioneer Giovanni Lion

 Editor: Zephyr  

Status: Completely shot, soundtrack and voice acting completed.  

Needed: budget for graphics, final edit, audio mixing and promotion.  

This video was meant to be an inhouse experiment, but due to time restrictions, is being used as an introduction to​ Lotus Mountain​. A proper 4K rough cut will be ready by SXSW, as well as a detailed booklet for press and distributors.  

The assistance and support of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Kandao were invaluable in the production of Lotus Mountain.

Stephen Black is an independent artist/producer/writer committed to finishing ​Lotus Mountain.

AR ONES tee shirt

ADDITIONAL ARvisible design soon to be revealed!

The gutter and the stars. And bakeries. And violin lessons.

AR ONES: Bubiko, Ollie, and the mysterious Obasan and Eggy.

Yep.

Available at finer fashion outlets internationally. Care to purchase this fine garment online? bubikofoodtour at gmail dot com

A! R! Let's go!

Get behind it before it gets past you
Now on tour....